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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Cellular localization of Y-box binding protein 1 in brain tissue of rats, macaques, and humans

Bernadette Unkrüer1, Anton Pekcec1, Christina Fuest1, Andrea Wehmeyer1, Maria S Balda2, Anja Horn3, Wolfgang Baumgärtner4 and Heidrun Potschka1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Pharmacy, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Munich, Germany

2 Devision of Cell Biology, Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, London, UK

3 Institute of Anatomy, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Munich, Germany

4 Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Hannover, Germany

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BMC Neuroscience 2009, 10:28  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-10-28

Published: 26 March 2009



The Y-box binding protein 1 (YB-1) is considered to be one of the key regulators of transcription and translation. However, so far only limited knowledge exists regarding its cellular distribution in the adult brain.


Analysis of YB-1 immunolabelling as well as double-labelling with the neuronal marker NeuN in rat brain tissue revealed a predominant neuronal expression in the dentate gyrus, the cornu ammonis pyramidal cell layer, layer III of the piriform cortex as well as throughout all layers of the parahippocampal cortex. In the hilus of the hippocampus single neurons expressed YB-1. The neuronal expression pattern was comparable in the hippocampus and parahippocampal cortex of adult macaques and humans. Double-labelling of YB-1 with the endothelial cell marker Glut-1, the multidrug transporter P-glycoprotein, and the astrocytic marker GFAP did not indicate a co-localization. Following status epilepticus in rats, no induction of YB-1 occurred in brain capillary endothelial cells and neurons.


In conclusion, our study demonstrates that YB-1 is predominantly expressed in neurons in the adult brain of rats, macaques and humans. Lack of a co-localization with Glut-1 and P-glycoprotein argues against a direct role of YB-1 in the regulation of blood-brain barrier P-glycoprotein.